Arizona Continues to Lead on Day Three of Women's Pac-10 Swim Championships
Feb. 24, 2006
Long Beach, CA - The Arizona Wildcats maintained their lead on day three of the Pac-10 Championships as Jenna Gresdal and Whitney Myers posted individual wins for the Wildcats. Stanford stands in second place with 842 points, while UCLA follows closely behind in third with 837 points.
'The girls were fighting hard and are swimming a lot better then anticipated,' said Head Arizona Coach Frank Busch. 'I hope that the kids are excited for tomorrow and will keep swimming hard.'
Whitney Myers started the evening off with a win for the Wildcats in the 400 IM, swimming 4:14.18 (NCAA 'A'). Myers led nearly all but the first 100 yards as Cal's Rachel Ridgeway and Myers were neck-and-neck during the Fly portion of the race. Myers pulled away during the backstroke and never looked back, defeating Ridgeway (4:16.34) by over two seconds.
Jenna Gresdal picked up Arizona's second individual title of the night, winning the 100 Backstroke in an NCAA 'A' time of 53.05. Teammate Marshi Smith, the 2005 Pac-10 !00 Back Champion, finished third in a time of 53.76, adding more critical points to the Wildcats' total. USC's Hayley McGregory finished second, just out-touching Smith in a time of 53.73. All but one of the finalists in the race swam NCAA 'A' times.
In a tight match-up between two impressive freshmen in the 100 Breaststroke, USC's Rebecca Soni touched-out Cal's Jessica Hardy, the American and World Record-holder in that event, to win her first Pac-10 title in a time of 1:00.10. Hardy finished .05 behind Soni in a time of 1:00.15, while the 2005 Pac-10 100 Breast Champion, Annie Babicz of California was third (1:01.17). The top-five finishers in the 100 Breast swam automatic NCAA times.
'We were both hurting at the end and I beat her (Jessica Hardy) at the last touch,' said Soni. 'I didn't even see her and I just pushed hard into the wall.'
It was also a big night for the Trojan 400 Medley Relay team of Hayley McGregory, Soni, Emily Goetsch and Rhi Jeffrey as they touched-out the California team of Helen Silver, Hardy, Erin Reilly and Emily Silver to capture the relay title. USC won in a time of 3:36.29, followed by Cal in 3:36.36 and Arizona in third with a time of 3:37.26. The top-three teams in the relay also posted automatic NCAA standards.
'The relay did awesome today and I felt pretty good about how the day went,' said Soni.
In the 100 Butterfly, Stanford's Dana Kirk won her second Pac-10 title in this event (she won in 2004), swimming 52.29. ASU's Caitlin Andrew was second in a time of 52.78, followed by UCLA's Kim Vandenberg (53.68), who finished third at last year's Pac-10 Championships. All three of these ladies swam NCAA 'A' times. The 2005 co-Champion from UCLA, Katie Arnold, did not advance to the final, and finished ninth overall (53.99).
In the 200 Freestyle, California took the top two spots as Erin Reilly won in a time of 1:45.70, followed by teammate Ashley Chandler in second (1:46.14). Arizona's Lacey Nymeyer picked up a third-place finish in a time of 1:46.49, as all three swam the NCAA standard. The 2005 champion, Emily Silver of California finished fourth in a time of 1:47.19.
Competition will continue on Saturday with the prelims of the 200 Back, 100 Free, 200 Breast and 200 Fly. The Pac-10 Championships will conclude in the evening with the finals of the 1650 Free, 200 Back, 100 Free, 200 Breast, 200 Fly and the 400 Freestyle Relay.
Standings after Day 3
1. Arizona, 899 pts.
2. Stanford, 842 pts.
3. UCLA, 837 pts.
4. USC, 761.5 pts.
5. California, 748.5 pts.
6. Arizona State, 485 pts.
7. Oregon State, 333.5 pts.
8. Washington, 312 pts.
9. Washington State, 263 pts.